So 2012 is going to be an interesting year with the new Electronic Fuel Injection (EFI). In this article I will be answering these two questions:
How is Sunoco E15 made?
What exactly is EFI?
SUNOCO GREEN E15
Farmers in the United States harvest corn throughout our country. Kind of ironic seeming how some of the top NASCAR drivers in the past started by outrunning the law while running Moonshine… which is made out of corn. It’s actually the world’s number one producer. It helps put the American farmers back to work and helps to promote energy independence.
With that all said, Sunoco announced last season that it was going to supply NASCAR with a high-performance fuel for the 2011 season. Sunoco® Green E15 is a highly oxygenated unleaded race fuel that contains 15 volume percent ethanol (hence fuel has a 15 percent ethanol blend) Because it contains more oxygen than most fuels, fuel system changes may be needed to extract peak performance from Green E15. Sunoco Green E15 contains a comprehensive additive package that helps keep fuel systems clean, enhances shelf life and reduces fuel system deposits. The cautionary risks remain as with those of any type of racing fuel. This fuel is extremely flammable liquid and vapor. It contains material or materials that can cause cancer.
To limit problems with condensation, Sunoco distributes the Green E15 blend to race teams from on-site tankers that travel to each and every NASCAR event throughout the season.
The grain ethanol is then moved to the Sunoco refinery in Marcus Hook, PA where it is blended with gasoline to create the Sunoco Green E15, the high-performance racing fuel.
The process – Ethanol Conversion
An ethanol production facility processes the corn into grain ethanol using the latest, most efficient ethanol production technologies that have made American ethanol a viable energy source. It goes from Storage (where it’s grounded into a flour-type substance) < Fermentation (Enzymes and heat are added) > Distillation (Enzymes and heat are added) > Sustainable Power > to the market.
Sunoco Green E15 is used at all NASCAR tracks while increasing horsepower and decreased greenhouse gas emissions.
ELECTRONIC FUEL INJECTION
The carburetor on NASCAR Sprint Cup Series engines mixed Sunoco Green E15 and air together to power the engines. Guess what? That’s the exact purpose of the EFI. Instead of mixing Sunoco Green E15 and air together in the carburetor, multiple port EFI efficiently injects fuel into each intake runner and mixes it with the air from the throttle body. A collection of sensors and a Freescale/McLaren Electronic Control Unit (ECU) provide maximum performance and engine efficiency.
NASCAR will still require EFI engines to use a restrictor plate at Talladega Superspeedway and Daytona International Speedway. The plate will be placed beneath the Holley EFI throttle body and limit the amount of air made available to the engine. Unlike carburetored engines, Sunoco Green E15 will not pass through the restrictor plate openings.
Crew Chiefs and engine technicians will be receiving data directly from the Freescale/McLaren ECU. Once the race is started, the EFI technology constantly makes adjustments, eliminating the need for teams to monitor the data in real time.
Freescale/McLaren Electronic Control Unit (ECU) – The brain of the EFI system that receives data from sensors to determine the amount of fuel to inject into the engine and when to fire the spark plugs.
Holley EFI Throttle Body – The only thing passing through this part is air, despite being similar in appearance to a carburetor. Four air valves are actuated by stainless steel throttle shafts, throttle levers and linkage designed for the extreme NASCAR racing environment.
BOSCH O2 Sensors – These sensors provide the ECU with key data so the system can adjust the air/fuel ratio to maximize horsepower and engine performance. Other network of sensors provide the ECU operating information at a rate of up to 100 times per second.
Fuel Injectors – Each cylinder has it’s own injector that precisely sprays Sunoco Green E15 into the engine for ignition.
Ignition Coils – Eight individual ignition coils send electricity to the spark plugs making distributors obsolete.
Spark Plugs – Use electricity from the coils to ignite the Sunoco Green E15 and air mixture.